Trojan gridders topple visiting Fillmore Central

By : 
CHAD SMITH
TRI-COUNTY RECORD

The Rushford-Peterson football team claimed its third-straight win last Friday night, defeating district-opponent Fillmore Central by a score of 42-20.

Despite the 22-point margin, Trojans coach Davin Thompson said the victory was not an easy one. “It wasn’t,” Thompson said. “We won the toss and drove the ball on our first possession. We had Kobe Lind on a corner route, who made a nice catch, and the defender put this helmet right on the to force a turnover. They turned around and marched it right down the field with a nice mix of run and pass, scoring the first TD. We thought the kids were thinking too much, and not reacting, at that point in the game.”

After one possession by each team the Trojans found themselves down 7-0; not the start the Trojans wanted. R-P coughed up four fumbles in the game, which is very unusual for the normally sure-handed Trojans. Though R-P played well on offense and defense, Thompson said the turnovers left a bad taste in their mouths.

“We were talking as coaches that we almost had 500 yards of offense and we held them to under 200, but when we left the field, it sure didn’t feel that way because of our mistakes,” Thompson said. “Every week, we give the kids the ‘Word of the Week,’ and this week it’s ‘Growth.’ No one is going to play a perfect game and they’ll make mistakes. You have to grow from that.”

After allowing the first TD, the Trojans came roaring back, rattling off three unanswered scores to take a 21-7 lead at the half. R-P added another nine points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. The Falcons actually outscored the Trojans 13-12 in the fourth quarter.

R-P finished with 446 yards of total offense to 147 for Fillmore Central. The Trojans offense did the bulk of its damage on the ground, racking up 324 rushing yards and four TDs. Ethan Sense led the way with 25 carries for 170 yards and all four rushing touchdowns. Carter Weidemann added 68 yards on only four carries, including a 41-yard scamper. Triton Meldahl added nine carries for 57 yards.

Though quarterback Landon Skalet didn’t throw the ball a lot, he was effective. The senior QB completed nine passes in 14 attempts for 131 yards and one touchdown to Peyton Morrison. Lind was Skalet’s favorite receiver, coming up with 71 yards on six catches.

The R-P defense and special teams units also contributed to the score. The Trojans had the Falcons pinned deep in their own end of the field (2 yard line) when quarterback Josh Peters mishandled the snap and the ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety. Triton Meldahl returned a Fillmore Central kickoff 61 yards for a touchdown, as well.

“Offensively, we had big statistics, but it just didn’t feel like we played really well,” Thompson said. “However, we made big plays when we had to. We were really pleased that we were able to make plays in third down and long situations.

“After the first drive, the defense was excellent,” Thompson added. “Coach (Chris) Drinkall and the defense adjusted to what the Falcons were doing throughout the majority of the game and shut them down.”

Schedule

The Trojans host Wabasha-Kellogg on Friday, Sept. 21, the second of three-straight home games at Ben Niggle Field. The Falcons are winless on the season, dropping games to Goodhue, Hayfield, and Blooming Prairie. Thompson talked about what the Trojans will see from W-K.

“You’ll see a single-wing, spinner-back formation,” Thompson said. “The offensive line will be unbalanced with the offensive tackles on the same side of the line. They actually have two quarterbacks in the backfield. They’ll snap the ball and one quarterback will get the ball, he’ll spin around and either give it to the player in motion, keep it, or hand it off.

“It’s an old, single-wing style of offense,” Thompson added. “We’re going to have to be gap-responsible on defense and plug up their running lanes.”

 

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